The Self I Hate: A Guest Post by Laine Daly from Emlyn Chand’s “Torn Together”

Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with might;

Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, passed in music out of sight.

~ Alfred Tennyson ~


I loved once. I loved my Oliver, and he was taken from me, thrust into the depths of the wet, torn ground. Since then, I cannot love—not my daughter and especially not my self.

What is love if not acceptance?

I cannot accept losing him when he was the best part of me. Now I am but a container, holding tears that will not fall. Who am I outside of him?

Any hope of recovery was lost when I shunned my daughter in her darkest hour. She was young and missing her daddy. I made her an imposter in her own home. Yet still I cannot bring myself to welcome her. Any time Daly comes close, I push her as far away as my might will allow.

Don’t get too close to me; I’m broken, and it’s contagious.

The best thing I can do is cease to exist, to be absorbed into another plane where I will not affect others. For every time I affect, I break.

My solace is in the pages. With enough attention, the stories become real. I don’t need to be me, because I can be Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Beckett, or Clarissa Chatterley. Their problems become mine, push mine out of existence—at least for a short while.

The best part is the prescience as to how their stories will turn out. I can proceed, getting wrapped up in the adventure, always knowing for certain that “happily ever after” is just within reach.

If only life were life that… then I might allow myself to live it.

Love for self? It’s a fallacy. Now please, leave me alone. I have to tend to my reading.


“It’s no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You’ve got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they’ve got to come. You can’t force them.”

~ D.H. Lawrence in Lady Chatterley’s Lover


About Emlyn: Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club inAnn Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children’s book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky! WebsiteTo Purchase Torn Together.

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